Recreational Marijuana and Medical Marijuana
Determine why you want to buy pot. Is there a medical issue you are trying to treat? Are you looking to spice things up in the bedroom? Trying a new approach for handling anxiety? Maybe you want pot to celebrate a special occasion or accomplishment. Depending on your reason you will see whether you are a potential medical user, or a recreational user. For the purpose of this How-To, we are going to assume that you are a recreational user with no marijuana experience. You want a small amount of weed to bring home and try.
*If you believe you have a medical condition that could be treated with marijuana, check out this post on how to apply for a red card in Colorado.
Choose a Dispensary
Finding a pot shop is easier than you think. Go to weedmaps.com. Search your location and read some reviews.* Here are some things to consider when looking for a place to buy weed:
- Location/Hours- Some people may want to find a place far from home, where they are unlikely to be spotted. Others may be searching for a place as close possible. You should always check store hours before leaving, as many places have different hours for medical and recreational customers.
- The Weed-You won’t be able to tell the quality of the marijuana from online. If you are really looking for the finest out there, you will have to read some reviews on the shops, and to just get out there and start buying weed.
- The Strain- Some may have a specific strain of marijuana in mind, from reading reviews or hearing through the grapevine. If you have your heart set on that strain you should always call ahead to make sure they have it. Keep in mind that shops sell out of great deals and popular strains quickly.
- Price- Some places are just cheaper, while others are just more expensive. The rhyme and reason of pricing and deals has many factors. More on price later.
In the Shop
- Layout- All dispensaries are arranged in a similar way. An entrance will lead you to a check in area. Someone will check you in and ask to see your ID and/or marijuana registry card (red card). Either combined with or just beyond the check in area will be a waiting area. It may be a plush room reminiscent of a nightclub, It might just be a line separate from the counter. Either way, there will be a separate area from the people purchasing their weed and the people waiting to purchase.
- Price lists- Be prepared for a few different price lists. Many shops have a membership that offers discounted members only pricing. That discounted price will be listed, along with the non-member price. Additionally, shops that sell both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana will have very different prices. Recreational weed is heavily taxed and more costly.
- Membership- With medical marijuana, membership with a dispensary allows the establishment to designate to the state that they are your caregiver (they grow medical marijuana for you). You can only be a member at one place at a time.
You’ve got the courage to open the door, now what?!
- There will immediately be an area to check in. You must show proof of residence and they will put your information into their database.
- Next you will be directed to a waiting area. This is often a separate room but can also be a line separate from the bar. There are only a few Budtenders working at a time so everyone must wait until their turn.
- When it’s your turn you will get to approach the bar. Now the fun begins! The employee at the bar is your budtender, and their job is to help you make an intelligent purchase. Typically the weed is all in jars behind them, clearly labeled.
- Budtenders are extremely knowledgable about pot. These people jump through a lot of hoops to be able to work in the legal marijuana industry, so these aren’t the stoned dirtbag dealers you may be expecting. Indeed, everyone may be high, but make no mistake, these people are pros in the pot world.
- When you tellyourBudtender it’s your first time there, they will want to explain what their shop has to offer. It’s a lot of information to take in, just hear them out. Onceformalitiesare done, you should tell them what you are looking for. Examples:
- It’s my first time smoking pot ever. What would you recommend?
- I’m looking for something that will relieve pain/stress/anxiety/insomnia
- It’s my first time and I want something fun!
- Your budtender will start putting weed out for you to examine. Look at the weed. You can take a cautious sniff. You can use tongs if provided to gently move the nuggets around. Don’t touch the weed with your hands. Or tongues.
- Once you’ve made your decision about which weed to buy, it’s time to tell them how much. They will begin weighing the pot and putting it in a small jar or container. Marijuana is sold by the:
- gram (there are around 3 grams in 1/8)
- 1/8 (one eighth of an oz)
- 1/4 (a quarter of an oz)
- 1/2 (one half of an oz)
- ounce (oz)
- Once you have everything you need you will pay, just like in any store, using your normal bank card. They’ll bag everything up and you will leave holding your totally normal looking bag of legally purchased weed.